Subjectivity is at the heart of current theories of about consciousness, in neuroscience as well as in philosophy of mind: What is a conscious self? What are the origins of the first-person perspective, and what exactly makes phenomenal experience a subjective phenomenon?
We will try to shed new light on the problem by combining approaches from philosophy of mind and cutting edge cognitive neuroscience. In the past, many different aspects of self-consciousness have been categorized and these aspects have been continuously refined and expanded, including many different sensory, emotional or cognitive layers. This has led to an excess of definitions, in the absence of a widely accepted model of self-consciousness that is based on empirical neurobiological data. More recent theories converge on the relevance of bodily self-consciousness, i.e., the non-conceptual representation and processing of body-related information, as one promising approach for the development of a comprehensive neurobiological model of self-consciousness, of grounding the phenomenal self-model (PSM).
We will then lay conceptual foundations for a minimal notion of phenomenal selfhood (MPS) while presenting the following data during our workshop, as we investigate behavioural and brain correlates of bodily self-consciousness, demonstrating the selective manipulation of self-location, first-person perspective, self-identification, and full-body agency.
(1) Neurological patients suffering from altered states of bodily self-consciousness such as so-called out-of-body experiences, autoscopic hallucinations and heautoscopy.
(2) The experimental manipulation of self-location and self-identification in healthy subjects using multisensory conflict and virtual reality technology.
(3) Neuroimaging data during experimentally altered states of bodily self-consciousness (self-location and self-identification) using virtual reality and robotics with high-resolution EEG.
(4) Neuroimaging data during experimentally altered states of bodily self-consciousness self-location, self-identification, and first-person perspective) using virtual reality and robotics with fMRI.
(5) The experimental manipulation of full-body agency in healthy subjects using temporal and spatial visuo- and audio-motor conflicts and virtual reality technology.
The workshop is aimed at participants with an interdisciplinary interest, from philosophy to psychology and cognitive science, as well as neuroscience.
Professor and Director, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Mind Institute, EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne|
Professor and Director, Theoretical Philosophy Group, Department of Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz; Adjunct Fellow, FIAS - Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main|
Professor and Director, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Mind Institute, EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
|1989-1996 Medical studies, Free University, Berlin, Germany; Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, France; University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland|
|1993-1996 Ph.D. student, Institute of Neurophysiology, Free University, Berlin|
|1996-1998 Postdoctoral researcher in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epileptology, Department of Neurology, Geneva University Hospital|
|1999-2003 Resident in Neurology, Department of Neurology, Geneva University Hospital|
|2003-2004 Leader of Independent Research Group, University of Geneva|
|since 2004 Assistant Professor; Director, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Mind Institute, EPFL, Lausanne|
Professor and Director, Theoretical Philosophy Group, Department of Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz; Adjunct Fellow, FIAS - Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main
|from 1978 Studies in Philosophy, Ethnology and Theology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main|
| || After Doctorate, supported by a scholarship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes|
|1982 MA in Philosophy, topic of treatise: "Rationalismus und Mystik"|
|1985 Ph.D., topic of dissertation: "Neuere Beiträge zur Diskussion des Leib-Seele-Problems", Frankfurt University|
|1985 Teaching Assignment, European Campus of the University of Maryland, Gießen|
|1986-1987 Teaching Assignments and Lectureships, Department of Philosophy, Frankfurt|
|since 1987 Teaching Assistant, Center for Philosophy and Foundations of Science, University of Gießen; Teaching Assignments and Lectureships, Universities of Gießen, Frankfurt and Oldenburg|
|1992 Appointment as "Hochschulassistent" and Public Servant on time|
|1992 Habilitation for Philosophy, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen|
|1993 Appointment as University Lecturer by the dean of the Faculty of History of the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen|
|1995 Substitution for the professorial Chair of Martin Lang, Department of Philosophy, University of Osnabrück|
|1996 Substitution for the professorial Chair of Georg Meggle, Department of Philosophy, University of Saarbrücken|
|1996-1997 Substitution for the professorial Chair of Georg Meggle, Department of Philosophy, University of Saarbrücken|
|1997-1998 Fellow, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Bremen-Delmenhorst|
|1998-1999 Visiting Scholar, Philosophy Department, University of California, San Diego|
|1999-2000 Substitution for the professorial Chair of Vittorio Hösle, Department of Philosophy, University of Essen|
|2000 Full Professor for Philosophy of Cognitive Science, International Programme in Cognitive Science, Institute for Semantic Information Processing, Department of Philosophy, University of Osnabrück|